The artwork is titled "The X ori" in which "Ori" refers to the specific base pair sequence in a circular DNA and "X" implies the unknown or uncertainty. It uses recordings of dialect speakers in the city as a parameter to generate lichens in digital spaces.
When the sonic memories embedded in an urban soundscape becomes the DNA,
a new species emerges.
The primary focus for this project is on visualization of the uniqueness of a city from the perspective of its self-identity, which has been questioned in today’s world of globalization and migration. It takes time to form an identity but at the same time identity shifts and changes with time. This unique organism “lichen” is created to express the idea that each “lichen” is a self-image of a “new self” captured in a specific period of time.
#Shanghai I, II, III I did during my residential period at Swatch Art Peace Hotel, Shanghai.
Stories Behind the Images:
The X ori #Shanghai I
I was on a late-night bus where my friend and I were the only passengers. The automated station announcement in Shanghai dialect was so clear and noticeable. I couldn’t help but take out my handy recorders to capture the pleasant-sounding dialect.
The X ori #Shanghai II
I went to a park where some locals were having a casual chatting about their daily lives and I recorded some of their discussions in Shanghai dialect. Here are some extracts:
“Shanghai is a nice city with four distinct seasons.”
“Shanghainese become lazy.”
“You can find food from everywhere in Shanghai.”
The X ori #Shanghai III
Senior Shanghai ladies often sing and dance in the park at weekends. Once I met a lovely old lady and recorded my nice conversation with her when she made the switch from Shanghainese to Mandarin when she knew that I was from Hong Kong. At the end of our chat, I asked her opinion about switching languages between Mandarin and Shanghai dialect, she laughed and said “We switch to Mandarin when talking with provincial because there are so many of them.”